Australia 5G Modems – What are the best options?

5G is the fastest speed for home internet – but which modem is best?

Connecting your home or office to the fastest internet speeds possible can be a top priority for many Australians. 5G has made this goal much more attainable, as the successor to 4G. So read on with Canstar Blue to find out what 5G Wi-Fi is and the best 5G modems on the market right now.

What is a 5G modem?

Essentially, a 5G modem is a device that connects to a 5G mobile/cellular network and connects your other devices to that network. The name 5G comes from the fact that the technology is the fifth generation of cellular progression (just like 4G and 3G before it). However, you may see “5G” used to refer to the 5 GHz frequency emitted by 5G modems.

There are generally two speeds at which modems are capable of operating: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 2.4 GHz has a lower overall speed, but it covers more area and can pass through walls more easily. The 5 GHz speed is much faster, but has less range and doesn’t pass through walls as easily.

This is where the terminology can get confusing for 5G technology. In this article, we use the term “5G modem” to refer to a modem or modem router that can use 5G cellular networks to provide a high-speed connection to your devices.

How fast is 5G internet?

5G home internet is now available to eligible customers on plans from a handful of telecom operators, including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, TPG, iiNet, Internode and SpinTel. It uses the same 5G networks that can connect to your phone to deliver wireless home internet.

5G internet is the fastest version of cellular broadband on the market today, but speeds can be hard to gauge. This can be mainly due to physical locations and time of day. The Telstra 5G home internet network has an average download speed of 378 Mbps on Telstra 5G internet plans. The Optus 5G home internet network has a typical download speed of 83 Mbps for the basic tier or 210 Mbps for the top tier 5G plan.

What are the best 5G modems?

Let’s dive into the crème de la crème of 5G modems, break down their pros and cons, and how you can get one.

Telstra 5G WiFi Pro

It is arguably the most coveted of the 5G modems. The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro tends to cost around $599 and can be purchased direct from Telstra, as well as The Good Guys and other select telecom retailers. The device obviously connects to the Telstra 5G network and has a battery life of around nine hours. Up to 30 devices can join the hotspot connection at the same time, with 4K and other streaming possible through its connection. The 2.4-inch touchscreen provides enough information about speeds and data usage.

Telstra AW1000 5G Modem

teltra-house

The AW1000 5G modem acts more like a consistent home connection, rather than the hotspot nature of 5G Wi-Fi Pro. It comes in a relatively tall, square frame, giving that modem feel that typical broadband networks tend to have. This modem is not available for outright purchase, but is available through Telstra’s 5G home internet plan. The 5G Home Internet plan is free for the first month, then costs $85 per month going forward.

Netgear Nighthawk M5

nightjar

Another device using the Telstra 5G network, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is a portable modem much like the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro. The device is only available with the Upfront Medium or Large data plan, which costs $61 per month or $91 per month. The Nighthawk M5 comes in a square device, with 13 hours of battery life, four hours more than the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro. It also allows 32 devices to connect to the network.

ZTE 5G Handheld Wi-Fi Modem

zte-5g

The frontier of 5G modems from Optus, the ZTE 5G Portable Wi-Fi Modem offers nine hours of battery life on top of its 32 connection capacity. The 2.4-inch touch screen provides important network analysis information, and the fast charging technology guarantees a limited wait. The ZTE 5G costs $434.88 and can be bundled with an Optus mobile broadband plan.

Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway

nokia

This tends to be the modem of choice for non-Telstra customers. The Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway comes bundled with 5G home internet plans from Optus, TPG, Vodafone, iiNet, Internode, SpinTel or any other major telecom operator. As it is a home modem, it does not have a battery but rather needs a constant power source. The remarkable feature of Nokia FastMile is that if 5G is not available in your area, it can connect to a 4G network as a backup. Support for download speeds of up to 500 Mbps makes it a strong contender in the 5G home modem market.

Is 5G better than NBN?

The widespread, government-funded roll-out of the National Broadband Network has enabled all eligible Australians to connect to a fibre-optic broadband network. Generally, the NBN is considered a consistent and (mostly) reliable network, while the 5G network is much more volatile. Many areas don’t have access to 5G connectivity, and the 5G broadband connection itself may have less range and not pass through walls as easily.

In the end, if you should go with NBN or 5G WiFi is entirely dependent on whether you’re looking for a fast, localized connection with 5G WiFi, or the more stable, but slightly slower, speeds of NBN.

How can I get 5G?

Canstar Blue’s team of experts have scoured the market for the best (and worst) 5G deals, so if you’re looking for a 5G plan, head over to the 5G home internet guide to find out what is best for you.

The following table shows some 5G home internet plans published in Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, lowest to highest, and then by data allowance, highest to lowest.

Telstra Logo

5G home internet

  • 5G speeds
  • Speeds capped at 25 Mbps after exceeding 1 TB allowance
  • Includes a Telstra 5G home modem ($0 when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: first month free for new customers. Conditions apply.
  • Special offer: 3 months free standard binge. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $85 more a month

1TB $85
Spintel Logo

SpinTel 5G Unlimited

  • No speed limit
  • Nokia 5G modem included
  • Special offer: $80 per month for the first 6 months, then $90 per month thereafter. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $90 more a month

Unlimited $90 Link to supplier unavailable
Optus logo

Optus 5G Internet Entertainer Superfast

  • No speed limit
  • 50 Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Includes Nokia FastMile 5G gateway modem provided by Optus (modem cost $576)
  • Stay connected for 36 months and pay $0 for the modem
  • Includes a standard Netflix subscription via SubHub
  • Special offer: $0 start-up fee + 1 month free
  • Introductory offer: $89/month for the first 6 months, then $99/month

min. Cost $675 more first month

Unlimited $99 Link to supplier unavailable
See all NBN Packages listed on Canstar Blue

The following table shows some 5G home internet plans published in Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, lowest to highest, and then by data allowance, highest to lowest.

TPG logo

5G Plus Home Broadband

  • Speeds up to 50 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee with no blocking contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: the costs of the first month are free. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $59.99 more a month

Unlimited $59.99 Go to the site
iNet Logo

Home Broadband More

  • Speeds up to 50 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee and no blocking contracts
  • $0 5G Modem
  • Special offer: one month free of charge. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $59.99 more a month

Unlimited $59.99 Go to the site
Internode

Home Broadband More

  • Speeds up to 50 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee and no blocking contracts
  • $0 5G Modem
  • Special offer: one month free of charge. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $59.99 more a month

Unlimited $59.99 Go to the site
Vodafone Logo

5G Plus Ultimate Home Broadband

  • $60 per month for existing Vodafone customers
  • Speeds up to 50 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee with no blocking contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: the costs of the first month are free. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $65 more a month

Unlimited $65 Go to the site
TPG logo

Premium 5G Home Broadband

  • Speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee with no blocking contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: the costs of the first month are free. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $64.99 more a month

Unlimited $64.99 Go to the site
Spintel Logo

SpinTel 5G Unlimited

  • Speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • Nokia 5G modem included

min. Cost $69 more a month

Unlimited $69
iNet Logo

High-end broadband home

  • Speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee and no blocking contracts
  • $0 5G Modem
  • Special offer: one month free of charge. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $69.99 more a month

Unlimited $69.99 Go to the site
Internode

High-end broadband home

  • Speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee and no blocking contracts
  • $0 5G Modem
  • Special offer: one month free of charge. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $69.99 more a month

Unlimited $69.99 Go to the site
Vodafone Logo

Premium 5G Home Broadband

  • $65 per month for existing Vodafone customers
  • Speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • $0 setup fee with no blocking contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: the costs of the first month are free. Conditions apply.

min. Cost $70 more a month

Unlimited $70 Go to the site
Optus logo

Optus 5G Internet everyday

  • Speed ​​capped at 100 Mbps
  • 50 Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Includes Nokia FastMile 5G gateway modem provided by Optus (modem cost $576)
  • Stay connected for 36 months and pay $0 for the modem
  • Special offer: $0 start-up fee + 1 month free

min. Cost $655 more first month

Unlimited $79 Link to supplier unavailable
See all NBN Packages listed on Canstar Blue

Photo credits: rawpixel.com, telstra.com.au, netgear.com.au, optus.com.au, nokia.com.au

About Ferdinand Caldwell

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